I'm not a huge fan of public speaking itself, but I am a fan of how God uses it to convey and communicate His truth and vision. This morning I spoke at church about missions. every Sunday we have a "vision moment" where we talk about something that is important to us at Trinity Park and Global Missions is a huge part of our core identity so I feel so honored that I was the one who got to stand up in front of the church and talk about the passion God has given me for the healing of the nations! What a sweet privilege...here's what I said:
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending Mission to the World’s Global missions Conference in Chattanooga, TN. For those of you who don't know, MTW is the sending agency for missionaries within the PCA. There were over 2100 people at the conference hearing about The Hope of Nations, which was the theme for the conference, and I was greatly encouraged and challenged by hearing about what God is doing around the world through MTW using people like us to love and serve and share Jesus cross-culturally. Thinking off the top of my head, I heard specifically about work in China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Greece, Spain, Australia, England, Scotland, the entire continent of Africa, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. I would love to talk about everything I heard, amazing stories of people coming to know the Lord but first I want to talk a little bit about what I learned about why we care about Global Missions. Why do we at Trinity Park want missions to be part of the core of our identity instead of just a program that we add on? Because God’s heart is for the nations! One of the coolest things I’ve ever done is a word study through scripture of the word “nations.” It’s incredible how many times God talks about bringing justice and healing to the nations and how He want us to be a part of it. One of my favorite quotes is from David Bryant, He says “God has a wonderful plan to sum up all things under His Son as Lord and to glorify His name among the nations for ages to come and He loves you enough to give you a strategic place in it.” I’ll just give you a few examples from Scripture: in Num 14:17-21, God says “But indeed as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” On the front of your bulletin every Sunday, is a verse from Psalm 67 that says “May God be gracious to us and bless us that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” And there are hundreds more. As some of you know, I have been praying through going on the mission field full time and have begun the application process with MTW to join the team in South India and actually just yesterday received an official invitation to join the team, which is super exciting! But before I went to the missions conference, I was really questioning my call and one of my biggest prayers before going was that God would give me clarity. And He really confirmed over and over again His call on my life to move overseas and love on women and children in South Asia. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the last talk of the conference called “Remember who you are” by a pastor named Joe Novenson. He unpacked Proverbs 11:30, it says “the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who wins souls is wise” He talked about our “stunning identity” as believers in Christ and the tree of life, the tree that sat in the center of Eden, the greatest tree there ever was, the one that was part of the constant state of life in Eden, more life and beauty than we can even imagine. We, as believers emanate life, our fruit is a tree of life. When people get near us, they are getting near the tree of life. Revelation 22 talks about the new heavens and the new earth and how there’s this crystal river flowing with the water of life on either side of the tree of life and God says “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” That hits home for me in a very real way. I love that our God is the God who heals and He lets us have a hand in his amazing plan to heal the nations. In his talk, Joe said “when people brush up against us, when they touch our leaves, they should say “there’s life here”…people are dying all over the world and we are the ones who have been entrusted with life. Joe challenged us at the end of his talk with “what will it take for you to jump in?”…So I challenge you with that as well, what is the strategic place that God has for you in His plan to heal the nations?
Even if only 1 person caught a little bit of the vision we have for the healing of the nations, me having to get up in front of a crowd and talk for 5 minutes was totally worth it. Besides, I might as well get used to it since I'll hopefully start raising support in March. Just one of the many ways that God reminds me how dependent I am on Him.
Speaking of being dependent, I'm so excited about our new sermon series...it's on the Core values of Trinity Park and we started today with Depending. Corey challenged our self-sufficiency and reminded us of God's love for us and His call for us to come to Him when we are weary and heavy laden. He reminded us that whether we feel like we are or not, we've been dependent on God for life from the very beginning and that hasn't changed. We're stubborn and prone to wander but we're dependent on Him for all things and He promises to be there when we run to Him, and to take our heavy burden and replace it with His light load. such a sweet message for a soul that is feeling heavy laden, weak, weary, and prone to wander.